Individuals can keep up with cosmetic trends by watching television, reading online and print publications, observing people, interviewing professionals in the industry and going to cosmetics-related shows. A person does not need to use all of these techniques; she can use whatever method is most convenient. Taking makeup or other cosmetology courses is generally not necessary for general study, but is advantageous if a person intends to have a career related to cosmetics. Regardless of what techniques an individual chooses, she should consider her learning a continuous process, as cosmetic trends constantly evolve.
A simple way to keep up with cosmetic trends is to watch television programming. Although the actors and actresses are "dolled up" for the camera, their makeup often is designed to look natural and to mimic what is currently popular. Perhaps more helpful even than television shows are the cosmetics commercials that air during breaks in regular programming. These commercials not only show how the makeup is supposed to be applied, but also list specific features and benefits of the products, such as the ability to moisturize or waterproof factor.
Those interested in cosmetic trends also have the option of looking at magazines and other print advertisements. These publications are somewhat more convenient than watching television, simply because they are more portable and can be accessed for study at the viewer's convenience rather than based on the station's schedule. Another advantage is that these publications often go into more depth about the product, including ingredients, step-by-step use instructions or selection tips.
Scouring websites is another good method for following cosmetic trends. A person can look not only at manufacturer's websites, but also at sites that follow celebrities, fashion and makeup shows and cosmetology. Blogs are options as well, although these are not always authoritative and should be approached with some caution, especially when medical issues are discussed.
It is possible to get information about cosmetic trends by observing people, as well. An individual can do this inconspicuously by visiting any public place, such as malls, subways or even grocery stores and coffee shops. The only downside to doing this is that the observer is limited to gathering information about the trends in her surrounding area. Her efforts may not provide a larger-scale view of trends that encompasses different regions and cultures.
One of the best methods to learn about cosmetic trends is to talk to cosmetologists and makeup artists. Many people visit salons regularly, so these are good opportunities to ask questions of professionals who are more familiar with the beauty industry. Networking through family and friends and looking through the local phone registry is a basic trick for finding service providers to interview informally. Another option is contacting beauty editors at magazines, newspapers and websites, as email allows interviewing over long distances.
Lastly, individuals can learn by visiting fashion, makeup and beauty shows. This is probably the least convenient option, as these shows are not available in all regions. Many shows are open to the public for free, but others charge an admission fee or are by invitation only. If a person cannot go to a show, the next best option is to watch one on television or to read reviews of the show online or in print publications.